Press Releases

June 1, 2011
Summer Exhibitions at the University Art Museum

Regarding Place: Photographs from the University Art Collections
Wolfgang Staehle:
Niagara, Eastpoint, Ludlow

On view July1 – September 10, 2011 
Free and open to the public.
PLEASE NOTE: Museum Summer Hours, Tuesday through Saturday, 11 – 4 PM.


ALBANY, NY---The University Art Museum is pleased to announce the opening of two new exhibitions: Regarding Place: Photographs from the University Art Collections and Wolfgang Staehle.
Regarding Place: Photographs from the University Art Collections features over 80 black and white photographs that consider the resonance of a given site, be it natural or manmade. The works selected for this exhibition provide a wide-ranging look into the shifting roles landscape and place has played in the trajectory of modern photography. Iconic images by Manuel Álvarez Bravo, Marilyn Bridges, Douglas Huebler, Joel Meyerowitz, Giles Peress, Edward Steichen, and Andy Warhol will be shown alongside less familiar, but equally arresting images that span almost the entire twentieth-century.
From Manuel Álvarez Bravo’s dramatic compositions of the vast terrain and hidden recesses of the Mexican landscape to Edward Steichen’s formal meditations on the luminous and shadowed verticality of Manhattan Island, many of the photographs in Regarding Place suggest portraits of places with specific and deeply rooted associations. Others reflect the expanded definition of photography that occurred in the second half of the 20th century. Embracing a new documentary objectivity, these artists approach photography with a clinical eye producing serial rather than singular images. Douglas Huebler’s rigorous, yet random inventory of locations in Seattle, Washington and New York City or Andy Warhol’s spontaneous shots of ordinary moments in New York City and in undisclosed locations around the world represent this shift away from a romanticized view of landscape to a more matter-of-fact description of the places we inhabit. Shown together, the photographs in Regarding Place foreground the direct and emotive appeal of black and white photography, while also informing current photography's renewed interest in faithfully reproducing the visual world.
In striking contrast to the black and white still photographs found in Regarding Place, Wolfgang Staehle will feature three full-color digital projections presented in distinct zones throughout the museum. Each projection records a panoramic view of a recognizable New York State site: the Hudson River Valley, Manhattan's Lower East Side, and Niagara Falls. Eastpoint (2004) and Ludlow Street, May 4, 2006 (2006) are archived versions of streamed web camera footage updated every few seconds and shot over a 24-hour cycle. Niagara (2004) is a one-hour pre-recorded video projection edited into an infinite seamless loop with roaring sound.  In all Staehle's work the use of contemporary technological resources creates a new understanding of landscape in the lineage of image making.
In Eastpoint (2004) and Niagara (2004), Staehle focuses on the sublime as it relates to 19th-century American landscape painting. Eastpoint (2004) described as “a kind of high-speed Frederic Church,” depicts a sweeping vista of the Hudson River Valley. Comprised of over 8000 still images shot every 10 seconds by a web camera, this gradually shifting image reimagines the landscape genre for the 21st century. Staehle shot Niagara with a video camera from the same vantage point as Fredric Church’s panoramic painting, Niagara Falls from the American Side (1867). Although 19th century audiences and today’s audiences are vastly different, Staehle’s decidedly 21st century approach calls into question how the mechanics of digital presentation mediates our experience of nature vs. those of painting or still photography.
In counterpoint to the pastoral settings of Eastpoint and Niagara, the museum will also show Ludlow Street, May 4, 2006 (2006), an unfolding depiction of one day in the life of Manhattan’s Lower East Side. The work consists of 6716 images displayed in approximately 8 second intervals.

Wolfgang Staehle is widely recognized as one of the pioneers of internet art. Born in Stuttgart, Germany in 1950, he has been living in New York since 1976. In 1991 he founded THE THING, an independent media project which began as a bulletin board system (BBS) and became one of the seminal online- and offline- forums for net.art. His works have been shown at Fondation Cartier in Paris, Gagosian Gallery in New York, Transmediale 02 in Berlin, Wood Street Galleries in Pittsburgh and at Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, at the Tate Modern in London, and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, DC.

 

This exhibition is made possible with support from the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and The University at Albany Foundation.

 

For further information or visual materials, please call (518) 442-4035 or visit our website at www. albany.edu/museum.

Museum Summer Hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 11 – 4 PM.


Media contact: Naomi Lewis, Exhibition & Outreach Coordinator, nlewis@albany.edu